Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 2012

Howdy Everyone!

Sorry it's been a few weeks since my last update! Things have been a little crazy busy for me. Just got great news today from SIM that my tickets for Africa have been booked!! Seems crazy how everything fell into place at the end, God knew all along. Thank you so much for your support and prayers during this year. And I am proud to announce I am fully funded for my trip, THANK YOU! I can't believe that 2012 is almost over and 2013 will be here so soon. A lot can change in a year. I am very grateful to the new friends that have come into my life in 2012 and I am looking forward to all that next year has in store for me.


I have quit my job at Santa Rosa Children's hospital or as it is now known- Children's Hospital of San Antonio. Sad to say goodbye to some dear friends but I know that we'll keep in touch and at least in Africa I don't have to worry about JACHO (accreditation committee) stopping by for a visit. Now that I have stopped working I would have thought I have more free time but that has not been the case. I have been spending time with family, friends, and last minute shopping needs for my trip. 

Attached are 2 pictures of the baby that was delivered along the path in South Sudan, his name is Paul. The first photo is the new baby and his mom the day of his birth. The second photo is from this past weekend.  (Here's the incredible story if you missed it)

Life in South Sudan is like a box of chocolates. . . today I left G around 8am after packing up my house, and walked back to D. Then I entered the compound and greeted friends and dogs here... and chatted with my pregnant friend Katta for a little while and explained what she was supposed to cook for the Ethiopian Team that just arrived (tuna casserole is a foreign concept for her)... then a little while later, she came out of the kitchen and declared that she was going home. "Are you coming back?" I asked, knowing the food wasn't finished cooking yet... "No, the baby hurts a lot..." at which point she doubles over... "Is it wanting to come NOW?" "Yes... I'm going home" ... "We'll go together". So, after we were about 1/3 of the way down the path to her house she says, with pained face, "Katta, I can't walk further, the baby is coming..." And then she squats by the path. I hardly had time to ask her anything else (like "should I go get someone?") before the baby gushed out onto the South Sudan earth... Katta let out her breath, I'm pretty sure I was still holding mine, and then together we both picked him up off the ground and started to clean him with the cloth she had around her... I tell you... in this melted box of Chocolates... you just never know what you're gonna get - but you're guaranteed to be surprised and delighted :)





The 3rd photo that is attached is from the Children's Hunger Fund- Toy Wrap that took place here in San Antonio. We had over 500 volunteers wrapping toys for 3 hours! It was a blast and I am sure going to miss my CHF family. Last weekend my mom and I traveled to Dallas to say goodbye to family and friends. And we also took time to go to the first CHF toy wrap in Dallas too. That day there was nearly 300 volunteers. 


May God bless you and your family during this holiday season of our Savior's birth.     Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 2012


Greetings friends and family!

October was a busy month filled with wonderful times with my family and warm apple cider! My sweet cousin, Laura, got married in Pennsylvania and the whole family was in attendance. It was a great time to get away, take in the beautiful fall colors, and make new friends while enjoying lots of delicious food.
My future teammates in South Sudan, Africa have reported that the construction of the new nutrition clinic is complete! There are an estimated 120,000 refugees in the area who are putting increased stress on essential resources such as food and clean water. November marks the end of this rainy season which has brought a lot flooding and has increased the concern for malaria.


The photo above came from my future teammate, James, and shows Sudanese people crossing the Yabus River holding boxes of Bibles and mosquito nets, which will be used to prevent bites from mosquitoes - the carrier of malaria. Please pray for the SIM team, the locals, and the refugees during these difficult and uncertain times.

I received word that the team is planning for my arrival by January 8, 2013. I am very excited that it is almost here, yet anxious because my funding is not yet enough. Currently, the total raised and pledged is $10,500!! Thank to everyone for your prayers and financial support. My total financial support need for my 12 month commitment is $22,000, so I am almost halfway there! In order to arrive in Africa by early January I need to have all my funds raised or pledged by December 1, 2012.

During these last few days I have been struggling to stay positive and trust completely in God’s perfect timing and I’m learning that this mission trip is not according to my own plan or my timing but His. I am also learning true flexibility and finally understanding that I am not in control of the details in my life. No matter when I leave, whether it is in January or later, I am certain that God has called me to go! By faith I am acting in obedience to His calling to serve those in South Sudan.

If you would like to help me go to Africa,  here are 3 things you can do to partner with me . . .

1 Prayer Support Please pray that I will remember that God’s plans are best, to keep my eyes focused on Christ, and to be patient. I never thought “the before part” of this trip would stretch my faith as much as it has already.

2 Financial Support Total support needed for 1 year is $22,000. To make a donation simply go to SIM’s secure website (www.sim.org/giveusa), click Support a Missionary, and then search my name. You can make a one-time donation or set up a recurring donation. If you prefer to write a check, make checks payable to SIM USA and put “Amy Ashcraft #037758” in the memo line and mail to SIM, PO Box 7900, Charlotte, NC 28241.

3 Encouragement If you’d like to receive my email updates, please message me. Keep me updated on your life and life at home (like the Spurs basketball season).

One person can not do everything, but I know that together we can make a difference! Would you please partner with me on this journey that God has called me to? For any questions about my trip, don’t hesitate to ask!

Blessings,

Amy Ashcraft



It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where [or when] he was going.  Hebrews 11:8

October 2012

Dear Friends & Family

I have just returned from an intense 2 week medical class in North Carolina.  Many things I learned I will be able to utilize first hand in South Sudan. Such as the signs and symptoms for malaria, tuberculosis, and many other tropical diseases that I didn’t even know existed. In addition, I learned how to deliver a baby, basic wound care & sutures, dental extractions, and so much more. Feeling more prepared for my journey as a nurse and the care that I will be providing to those in need. Looking forward to working along side the SIM Sudan team soon.

Currently in Africa it is the rainy season, there has been quite a bit of flooding in the region. Also, construction for a new nutrition clinic is underway and the new building should be completed soon! Here is a picture of the 1000th child that has come into the nutrition clinic. This wonderful clinic is changing the lives of many and truly making a difference for the people in South Sudan.


Here are 3 things you can do as a partner with me on this journey to Africa . . .

1- Prayer Support. This is an essential part of my team. Please pray as I continue to prepare for my new life in Africa, pack my belongings, and have the perseverance to keep my eyes on Christ. Also, pray for communication and teamwork within the SIM team, the local Sudanese people and many refugees, and protection and safety during this time of political unrest and uncertainty.

2- Financial Support. To date, I have raised just over $5,500. Thank you to everyone who helped so far, your contribution means a lot! Even though I fell short of my October goal, I know that God will provide, not in my timing, but in His perfect timing. Remembering that Christ is in control of my trip and every aspect of my life is comforting yet hard because I like to be in control. I am confident that He will provide all of my needs. My goal for November 1st is to have a total of $12,000 raised. Will you help me reach my goal?
SIM has a secure website for donations at www.sim.org/giveusa. Click “Support a Missionary”, then search for my name. You can make a one time donation or set up a recurring donation online. In addition, you can directly mail checks to SIM. Please make checks payable to SIM USA and put Amy Ashcraft #037758 in the memo line. All donations are tax-deductible and SIM will mail you a receipt for your generous contribution! The mailing address:
SIM USA, PO Box 7900, Charlotte NC 28241

3- Encouragement. If you would like to receive updates about my journey, please message me. While in Africa, I will try to send you updates monthly. Also, please keep me updated on you and keep me connected to life at home.

We all know one person can't do everything but together we can do something.  Would you partner with me on this journey to help those in need? If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to ask!

God Bless,

Amy Ashcraft

And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

May 2012

Dear Family and Friends,


I am very excited to be serving with SIM as a nurse on a medical team in South Sudan in January 2013. SIM has an outstanding history and has missionaries serving in over 60 countries throughout South America, Asia, and Africa. Their purpose for serving those overseas is to glorify God by planting, strengthening, and partnering with churches around the world. You can find more information online at www.simusa.org or www.sim.org. The Lord placed a passion in my heart for serving those in need over 10 years ago. In a few months I will be following my heart and traveling to North Africa as an act of obedience to God’s call on my life.

Ways YOU can be a part of my team . . .

1- Prayer. This is an essential part of my team. For me, please pray as I continue to prepare for my new life, pack my belongings, and perseverance to keep my eyes on Christ. For the team already serving in North Africa, pray for teamwork and their safety.  For the people of South Sudan, pray during this season of political unrest for peace and that Christ’s name will be known in this nation.

2- Keeping in touch. If you would like to receive updates about my journey and new prayer requests, please message me so I can add you to my list. In addition, please let me know how you are doing and what is new with you.

3- Financial support. The total I need to raise is $22,000 to cover all expenses for my 12 month commitment. These expenses include airfare, visas, housing, language school,  insurance, and more. Prior to departure, I need to have $15,000 raised with the remaining $7,000 pledged to be donated while I am in South Sudan. SIM has a secure website for online donations at www.sim.org/giveusa. Click “Support a Missionary”, then search for my name. In addition to online, you can mail checks directly to SIM. Please make checks payable to SIM USA and put Amy Ashcraft and STA # 037758 in the memo line. All donations are tax-deductible and SIM will mail you a receipt for your generous gift! The mailing address is:
SIM USA
PO Box 7900
Charlotte NC 28241

We all know one person can't do everything but together we can do something.  Please pray about how God would have you partner with me on this journey for His blessings to be made known to all nations. If you have any questions for me regarding my life in North Africa, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Your sister in Christ,
Amy Ashcraft

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jan 2012

Family & Friends~

Can not believe that 2012 is already here. And I can not believe that  2013 is quickly approaching. One year from now I have the opportunity to serve along side SIM (Serving In Mission) as part of a medical team in South Sudan Africa for 12 months.

Since my last letter I have returned safely home to San Antonio, Texas from Boise, Idaho. Currently, I am working again at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital as a pediatric nurse. I was able to get a day shift position. In addition to my new job, my Perspectives class has started too! I kinda feel like I am in nursing school all over again with the heavy reading requirements. However, now I actually look forward to my study time. Being back home has it many benefits especially the fine cuisine, Tex-Mex = yummy!

While between jobs I took the opportunity to travel to Nairobi, Kenya. I was able to stay with a friend’s parents. It was wonderful being back in Kenya and spending time again with the Meredith’s. I really enjoyed going to the swimming pool with Patty and having Buster (the dog) chase us up and down the pool like he was the lifeguard. And making new friends while cooking in the kitchen together.

 Also, while in Kenya I was able to meet the entire SIM Sudan team! The SIM Sudan headquarters are located in Nairobi and I was able to go there for prayer meetings, games, Thanksgiving dinner, & much more. Even went on a shopping adventure with some of my future team mates to the largest outdoor market I’ve ever seen!  And I learned first hand that it is essential to carry an umbrella at all times!!

You can find out more about SIM and what they are doing in South Sudan & the world on their website  www.sim.org or www.simusa.org

Prayer Requests
1-  Reconnect with friends & family
2- Adjust to life back home-- new job, Perspectives class
3- People of South Sudan and the SIM team that is currently serving

God Bless

Sept 2011

Dear Family & Friends

Have you heard about the newest country in the world?!? South Sudan Africa gained it's independence this July! And I am so blessed to be going in 2013.  I will be traveling there to serve as part of a medical team with SIM (Serving In Mission)  for the whole year. This opportunity is a dream come true.  While in high school I can remember wanting to make a difference in our world and hoped it would be in the medical field. Attending the University of  Mary Hardin-Baylor and graduating in 2006 helped make my dream a possibility. Now with over 5 years of nursing experience I am taking this wonderful opportunity to follow the desires of my heart and serve those who are much less fortunate in Africa.

During the last three years I have been working in various locations throughout the United States as a traveling nurse moving nearly every three months and have really enjoyed it! Currently, I am located in Boise, Idaho working at St. Luke's Children's Hospital on my final  assignment. I will complete my assignment in October and I will be returning home to San Antonio, Texas! I am looking forward to staying in one place for a while and more excited to spend time with  friends and family. Not to mention the great Tex- Mex food that I have been missing.

While back home in San Antonio I will be working full time as a nurse- not sure of where or what exactly yet. Also, I will be preparing for my African adventure by taking a missions class called Perspectives. This 18-week course will include readings, homework assignments and projects.

SIM has a long outstanding history and has missionaries serving in over 50 countries throughout South America, Asia and Africa. Their purpose for serving those overseas is to glorify God by planting, strengthening, and partnering with churches around the world. You can check out SIM online and find out more information at www.simusa.org or www.sim.org

It would be an honor if you would become a member of my support team with prayer and email communication. I will keep you updated on my progress along this journey to Africa. And if you have any advice about missions, Africa or anything else I would appreciate it.  Please contact me and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Prayer Requests
1-  Finalize all the paperwork & details
2- Transition to life back in San Antonio- new job, missions class, etc.
3- People of Sudan and the SIM team that is currently serving

God Bless